Troubled grocer Morrisons is selling its M Local convenience shops so it can concentrate on its supermarkets.
It said it will sell 140 M local stores for around £25 million in cash to retail entrepreneur Mike Greene.
Mr Greene said the chain will be rebranded My Local, and he plans to keep all of its 2,300 staff. He added the new management plans to create 200 further jobs by opening 10 more stores.
Rebecca Wooller and Blake Green will marry in front of shoppers at their local branch of the store in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire.Read the full story ›
Supermarket chain Morrisons has announced pre-tax losses of £792 million for the year to February 2015.
The result compares to a 2013/14 loss of £176 million, the company said in its preliminary results.
Underlying profit before tax was also down 52% on the previous year to £345 million.
Chairman Andrew Higginson said: “Last year’s trading environment was tough, and we don’t expect any change this year.
"However, Morrisons is a strong, distinctive business – we own most of our supermarkets, have strong cash flow, and are famous with customers for great quality fresh food at low prices. This gives us a good platform."
The company will have a new chief executive as of next week, with former Tesco executive David Potts taking over after previous incumbent Dalton Phillips was sacked.
Morrisons has announced that its CEO Dalton Philips is to leave the firm after five years in the job.
It said Philips has agreed to continue in his role until the year-end results in March to ensure a smooth transition.
Andrew Higginson, who is due to become chairman on 22nd January, said the company's board believed the push to return the business to growth was "best done under new leadership".
Morrisons has reported a 3.1% drop in like-for-like sales for the festive period, adding that chief executive Dalton Philips is to step down by the time of the company's annual results.
Morrisons has become the first of the big four supermarkets to pledge a price match guarantee against discounters Aldi and Lidl in the latest episode of the ferocious price war.
The supermarket will launch a new loyalty card which will see customers given additional points if their comparable shop would have been cheaper elsewhere.
It is part of a previously-announced plan to invest £1 billion in price cuts over three years as chief executive Dalton Philips battles sliding sales and plunging profits.
Morrisons has said its financial position remains strong despite a sharp fall in its latest half-year profits.
The supermarket confirmed it would increase its interim dividend payment by 5%, with the company's chief executive bullish about the future:
Although it is too early to see the benefits of the three-year plan in the sales line, Morrisons is getting back on the front foot, and implementing change and innovation at real pace throughout the business.
The chairman of Morrisons has said the ongoing price war among supermarkets has made things "tough" after the chain's half-year profits were savaged by 51%.
Morrisons is six months into a three-year turnaround plan involving an "enormous amount of change and modernisation" in which the company has committed more money to lowering its prices.
But the supermarket group said it was too early to see the impact of this work on sales.
Chairman Sir Ian Gibson said: "Conditions are tough, and the industry is going through unprecedented change."
Britain's fourth largest supermarket Morrisons has announced a 51 per cent slump in its first-half profits as it posted its lowest figures for eight years.
The Bradford-based group said it made an underlying pre-tax profit of £181 million in the six months to Aug. 3.
Turnover fell 4.9 per cent to £8.5 billion, while sales at stores - excluding fuel and VAT sales tax - fell 7.4 per cent.
Morrisons has axed 2,600 jobs in a bid to "modernise the way the stores are managed" and "simplify" the management structure, the supermarket's boss said.
Dalton Philips, Morrisons chief executive, said: “This is the right time to modernise the way our stores are managed. These changes will improve our focus on customers and lead to simpler, smarter ways of working.
“We know that moving to the new management structure will mean uncertainty for our colleagues and we will be supporting them through the process.”